Gov’t to spend P4.5B on new MRT trains


The government is set to spend P4.5 billion for the purchase of new trains that will significantly increase the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line’s passenger capacity.

The improvements would be done despite the rights over the MRT line being in the hands of private shareholders, led by the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“The money is already with the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA),” a Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) source privy to the details of the expansion said.

The source requested anonymity because of lack of authority to speak publicly about the deal.

The source said the LRTA, which operates the LRT Green and Purple lines (formerly Lines 1 and 2), would act as the procurement agent for the transaction to avoid any legal issues that may be raised by the MRT’s private shareholders.

As much as five new trains, made up of three coaches each, could be bought with the money. This would add to the MRT line’s current fleet of 20 trains—all of which are over a decade old and are prone to frequent breakdowns.

The budget for the purchase was released by the Department of Budget of Budget and Management last December.

The acquisition would increase the MRT’s designed capacity to around 440,000 passengers a day, from the current 350,000.

The congested train line on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) is used by nearly 500,000 passengers on average weekdays.

“Whenever any of these trains break down, the effect on passengers is significant because there are so many taking the MRT,” the source said.

He said a technical working group (TWG) made up of government and private sector experts are currently working to finalize the specifications of train cars to be purchased.

The Pangilinan group acquired control over the MRT Corp. consortium, holder of the build-lease-transfer (BLT) contract for the train line, from the group of John Sobrepeña last year.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Nic Legaspi

    More train lines please! We need to start thinking about these things NOW or else we will be facing a nightmare soon and our train lines would be bursting at the seams. I hope the government seriously considers building lines that service our major urban centers and ports like BGC, MOA complex, NAIA, etc. There are a lot of buildings being constructed at the fort now and McKinley road is already too congested during the morning. If we don’t think of rapid transportation options for the public soon, we’ll regret it.

  • GungGung

    As many as five new trains.. not as much..

  • ExpatSteve

     How can the LRTA, a Government Owned/Controlled Corporation,
    purchase the train sets for MRT-3, a private entity? Methinks this
    has to be illegal, no?

  • Jao Romero

    why would the government spend money on this when MRT is already owned by MVP group? Mar Roxas wake up! what are you doing in your job? there’s robbery being done here in broad daylight. if we’re spending 4.5 billion, we sure as heck must get that back in earnings right? MVP group has no right to those earnings if we’re the ones paying for improvement. i thought the MOA called the sale as “no cost to the government.” so why are we being fleeced 4.5 billion?

  • luiboowee

    Is it possible for MRT to have entirely different trains or coaches? The current trains have these huge spaces between each coaches, the doors are so distant from each other that’s why people tend to position themselves near the doors, each station’s platforms looked like designed to carry 4 coaches instead of three, and the trains are relatively smaller than those in LRT-2 considering that more people use MRT than LRT-2.

  • Michael Maquilan

    God bless the Philippines..

  • Andres Bonifacio

    I’ll give then credit ONCE those trains start operating…hindi lang PURO PRESS RELEASE! which is the hallmark of this administration! This is not about GMA or Corona…this is about PERFORMANCE!!!

  • Wake_Me_up

    P-noying strikes again…

    For sure Pro-GMA & Corona will belittle this administration’s initiative yet again…

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos